What was shaping up to be an exciting fight for the Flyweight Championship, took a massive hit when Deiveson Figueiredo missed the 125 lb mark. Due to this, Figueiredo is ineligible to win the belt. Meaning, should he win, the belt stays vacant. What a massive letdown that is, and in my opinion this puts more pressure on Joseph Benavidez to win this fight for the division. Either way, it still should be a fun fight.
UFC Fight Night 169 Main Card:
However, Figueiredo can absolutely crack and I’m worried about Benavidez’s ability to withstand power like this so late into his career. He’s been hurt and wobbled more lately than I’ve ever seen. If he can stick to a wrestling heavy approach, it’s very possible that he zaps Figueiredo and then pieces him up on the feet in the later rounds. In the end though, I’m going with Figueiredo via TKO, keeping the Flyweight belt vacant.
145 lbs.: Zarah Fairn vs. Felicia Spencer – With the announcement that Amanda Nunes is defending her Featherweight belt at UFC 250, Spencer is obviously the next challenger. This fight is obviously a softball to set up that up, its glaring. So with that, I have Spencer winning quickly via submission.
205 lbs.: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba – This is going to be fireworks! I’ve got Cutelaba winning though. I believe his aggression, power and wrestling give fits to any Light Heavyweight. Ankalaev is a technical, dynamic counter puncher that has stiff takedown defense. However, I haven’t been crazy about his striking defense. And Cutelaba is a buzzsaw right out of the gate. I’m predicting a early TKO victory.
145 lbs.: Megan Anderson vs. Norma Dumont – This is an odd fight, but I guess they want to showcase Anderson. So with that, I got the Aussie winning via TKO.
145 lbs.: Grant Dawson vs. Darrick Minner – Weight cut issues aside, Dawson uses his top notch wrestling to take Minner down at will and eventually submit him.
UFC Fight Night 169 Prelims Card:
135 lbs.: Kyler Phillips vs. Gabriel Silva – Honestly, I dont have a clue. Silva via decision.
155 lbs.: Luis Pena vs. Steve Garcia – This is an intriguing fight, but Pena has been showing improvement each fight. The takedown defense needs to improve though if he’s going to make the climb up the division. Also, I’m not sure about the decision in his last fight, but he makes it up here with a hard fought decision victory.
265 lbs.: Sergei Spivac vs. Marcin Tybura – When Tybura’s durability gets back to what it was like when he fought Fabricio Werdum, let me know. For now, Spivac via KO.
145 lbs.: Jordan Griffin vs. T.J. Brown – Griffin has a tough first two opponents to open his UFC tenure, but this one I believe is where he gets his first UFC win via decision.
145 lbs.: Spike Carlyle vs. Aalon Cruz – Gosh, I dont know either of these gentlemen, but I got Cruz. He’s got a 4 inch height and 7 inch reach advantage. If he uses his distance well, he should outpoint Carlyle by decision.
170 lbs.: Sean Brady vs. Ismail Naurdiev – Tough fight to call. Brady is a workhorse, with volume, pace and cardio that is hard to match. If he could shore up his striking defense, we might have something. As for Naurdiev, the Austrian Wonderboy is a dynamic striker whom turned his weakness of wrestling into a strength in his last fight by taking down heavy handed Siyar Bahadurzada three times.
As for this fight, I edge Brady, but I could very well see Naurdiev shut the lights out. I favor Brady’s relentless and cardio to slightly edge out a decision win.